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eBOSS and The BOSS
- an HBA members' publication

eBOSS is a regular, members access only, electronic publication which succeeded the Home Business Alliance's original, printed version, The BOSS, in April 2008. At that time, it was decided to 'go electronic' as production costs and difficulties began to outstrip what we believed was a reasonable subscription for a home business to pay. However, we remain attached by the umbilical cord to hard copy and as our present association with Cobweb and Better Business magazine will confirm, therein will lie again our future. It is just a case of 'when' and from 'where'.

The BOSS and its earlier variants, including The BOARD, had been in print and circulation since 1993 and its numerous illustrious partners have included Mercury, then Cable & Wireless (who also produced and managed our first websites as part of their sponsorship of the HBA), Canon, Lloyds Bank, Olivetti, LawNet (The Law Society) and leading insurance brokers Tolson Messenger (for Commercial Union).

At that time, the HBA was also a winner and frequent front-runner for Royal Mail Regional Awards for 'Best Mailshot, Irrespective of Budget' regularly beating well-known, corporate household names.

Below are some example issues of eBOSS from 2008 at the time of transition to electronic format.

For all issues of eBOSS from October 2008 to the present, if you are an Home Business Alliance member then you should go to the Home Business Alliance members site.

If you are not an Home Business Alliance member then you will need to join the Home Business Alliance to access up to date issues of eBOSS. Join the Home Business Alliance.



eBOSS October 2008

Pick of the News:

How many business enterprises are there in the UK?; Decline in start ups over by end of 2008, says Barclays; Freelance market growing, say researchers; Small firms turn to redundant City freelancers for advice; More freelancers face being taxed as employees after court ruling; Banks' lending restrictions could worsen for small firms, warns FPB; Small firms unhappy with service from banks, says report; Credit crunch creates boom for charity shops; Government should take lead on late payers, says FPB; Oil price falls not passed on at pumps; Rural areas could suffer from road pricing schemes, study reveals; SMEs angered by Royal Mail cost hike as post offices close; CLA says broadband investment is crucial to rural businesses; Vodafone to offer free Dell Inspiron Mini 9s with two-year contracts; Businesses warned to be careful when dealing with e-mails; Independent commission launched for direct marketing industry; Independent commission launched for direct marketing industry; New legislation to change rules on doorstep selling; Consumer credit licensing requirements come into force in October; Marketing law for Olympic Games is 'draconian'; Marketing shortfall for new business; Small firms think buildings cover is most important insurance; Activity in construction industry declining at record rate; Small construction firms advised to diversify by federation; House builders renting properties could face VAT clawback from HRMC; Improve online retail experience or lose out to competitors, says Tealeaf; Half of businesses 'have no idea' of impact of data security breach; Company name display rules to change in October; Help available for businesses at risk from flooding

Mike's Media View: A Great Way To Promote Your Business
Finding Balance While Working From Home, Part I by Rachael Ross
and the 'How To Work Successfully From Home Guide'
Tax and VAT News
Overcoming a Sales Slump by Darrell Zahorsky, about.com
Surmount Slowdown By Getting Back to Basics by Darrell Zahorsky, about.com
SFEDI Launches Online Tool to Help Small Businesses Pinpoint and Solve Their Development Needs
Things You Say:

FREE advertising for members; British Invention Show 2008, London, 15-18 October; Outsourcing site launches Web 2.0 feature; new interactive Forum Website for Enterprise; Latest PC's on offer; Beat the Crunch on printing prices; ..are all of your utilities going up?; The Grocer was relaunched on 6th September 2008; * Coincides with the relaunch of thegrocer.co.uk on 5th September 2008; Home Emergency Assistance; Re-cycling website; Directors' guide to mobile working; Best practice website launched for hauliers; Free guidance tool for food and drink businesses; Insurance for Business guide; Compare life cover prices; FREE Manuals; ‘Let’s Talk Business: Soaring to Success’; superfast mobile broadband devices



eBOSS September 2008

Pick of the News:

Self-assessment deadline for paper returns just weeks away; More businesses paying late; Small businesses suffer from poor payment practices, says FPB; BERR withdraws funding for Pay On Time website; High street sales worst since early 80s, figures show; Economic growth grinds to a halt; Distinct possibility of recession, says BCC; Government seeks help from rural businesses; Invisible home entrepreneurs 'ignored'; Crunch fears cause small business owners to work from home; Crunch creates boom in savings sites; Niche businesses on rise; Dragon donates £100,000 to young enterprise scheme; Reduce VAT on green products, urges House of Lords; Internet advertising on the up, says Ofcom; eBay wants larger share of online retail market; Disputes over .uk domain names increasing; NAEA free website could scupper rival sites; Thousands of businesses at risk from ID theft; Beware new chip and PIN fraud; Warning for rogue traders as bankrupt kitchen fitter jailed; New guidance on consumer protection regulations; Business Advice Open Day, 18 September, Twickenham; BusinessZone.co.uk backs leading enterprise support conference; Government denies supporting 'Business Link rival'
Mike's Media View: One Way To Impress PM and Royals
A Time Efficient Office by Rachael Ross and the
How To Work Successfully From Home Guide
Tax and VAT News
Top 10 Home Business Opportunities 2007
Home Office Essentials
Protecting Your Home Office
Things You Say:

ChooseIsp.co.uk; discounted West End theatre offers; MoreTh<nBusiness.com survey; discounted Dell offers; recruiting VAT experts; postcard emailers; editable eshot templates; adtech London Olympia; latest Selectabase newsletter; Chinawatch autumn newsletter; Young Rural Entrepreneur 2008 finalists; Women in Business conference; insurance for business guide; compare life cover prices



eBOSS July/August 2008

Pick of the News:
UK 'months away from recession'; Start-up figures highest in three quarters; Scotland's business start-up figures sliding; Credit crunch to get worse, say businesses; Small businesses suffer as large firms stall on payments;
House builders delay payments to subcontractors; CCJs up as firms fall behind with payments; Rising cost of living affecting demand for freelance work; Freelance IT consultants cut rates to win work; Flexibility satisfies freelancers; Firms passing on fuel costs to customers; EU Small Business Act launched; Conservatives seek small business input; Self-employed get new guidance on working from home; HMRC announces tax correction threshold increase plans; Penalties for late filing criticised; Professional contractors call for review of the tax system; HMRC warns of tax scam; LinkedIn networkers targeted by Nigerian scammers; Spam experiment overloads inboxes; Marketers must identify envelopes as promotions; Online shoppers think they're helping the environment; Farmers' markets in consumer misguidance probe; Welsh Assembly publishes strategy for profitable farming; Beware of New Business to Business Advertising Legislation!; Last chance to register for free trial; Keep trade local, FSB urges Government; Millions ditch the office for home
Mike's Media View: The Good, the Bad . . . and the Sleepworthy
Managing Isolation by Rachael Ross and the
How To Work Successfully From Home Guide
Tax and VAT News

Google Trends Reveal All by Ian McIntosh of the Latitude Group

Things You Say:
Tax rebate guide worth £19.95, FREE to Home Business Alliance members; Women in Business - Super Conference 2008; insurance for business guide; TaxationWeb voted Top 5 UK accounting website; Building Client Relationships and Keeping Customers seminars; Calm Before the Storm



eBOSS June 2008

Pick of the News:
Businesses back Conservatives as faith in Labour plummets;
rise in number of businesses going into administration; small businesses take advantage of outsourcing; free public sector contracts trial for small businesses; interest rate will be cut by year-end, anaysts say; small business owners turn to personal accounts; get tough on late payers, small businesses urged; CAP reforms welcomed by government; UK to suffer as food costs rise; supermarket launches website for Polish food; estate agents close as property market declines; FTA calls for diesel duty to be cut to EU levels; construction workers likely to turn down pension scheme; broadband take-up still slow for rural businesses; internet advertising is difficult to regulate, says ASA; new Dell PCs and services zero in on small business users; rural areas need ring-fenced funding, says NFU; farmers left without payment; Young Rural Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 - open for entries; ISPs should log Internet usage, says Government; just one in ten small firms considers switching their ISP; auction sites dip slightly in popularity; consumers struggle with online shopping baskets; used car traders should heed consumer protection reforms; CLA launches new licences; BERR announces consumer law proposals; decision on tax forum makes small businesses nervous; top ten most expensive business locations named
Mike's Media View: Booming Along On the Back of Basil Brush
How To Work Successfully From Home Guide by Rachael Ross
Tax and VAT News
Use It or Lose It by James Brunton
8 General Search Engine Optimisation Tips
Things You Say:

Free online business network for Home Business Alliance Members



eBOSS May 2008

Pick of the News:
Consumer Protection regulations to crack down on rogue traders; self-assessment tax return gets a revamp; businesses urged to prepare for flooding risks; High Court rules on overdraft charges; small businesses reluctant to charge interest on late payments; research reveals dirct mail secrets; entrepreneurs wasting time, says report; small businesses plan and save for uncertain times; sellers to boycott eBay over new rules; freelance contractors replacing permanent positions; new portal for creative sector; IPO launches patent database; small business not consulting government for IT advice; Ofcom examines future broadband needs; green logos affecting brands; brewer launches eco-friendly beer; intellectual property advice seminar; utility watch website.
Mike's Media View: What Future for Newspapers?
Time Efficient Habits by Rachael Ross
Tax and VAT News
Cholestrol Drug Problems by James Brunton
The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies - a background

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (final part)
Things You Say:
InBiz founder named enterprise support champion; helpful to home businesses; regulation updates from Business Link; PRCA National Conference; e-newsletter software; Jabberwot free directory of business skills; Profit Club events; eco-friendly IT products from Corporate Media Supplies; Compareo; complementary 2 GB online storage; PRCA training dates and venues; Qube modular building systems; regus.co.uk
Update: 7th May 08
6 Steps to a Better Business; EyeBee Information bulletin; quotation or tender required?; e-skills website
Free online business network for Home Business Alliance Members 12/05/08
Update 24th May
Good debt management; Open University IT registration; PRCA National Conference; ISBE 2008 2nd call for papers; Seminar Invitation : Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform v Amway , 27 June 2008



eBOSS April 2008

Pick of the News:

Taxman can gain automatic entry to homes of the self-employed
; Apathy gifts taxman billions; Start-ups and business failures both rise; Banks beat us for start-up support, government admits; Minimum wage increase announced; Government urged to replace VAT with green tax; Tight bank lending policies to increase strain on UK businesses; Credit crisis - small firms feeling the heat; Internet banking sites flawed, says security firm; Up to 40% of UK websites selling online failing to comply with key legislation; Migrant workers boost IT and telecom sectors; Consumers concerned about shopping online; Consumers want clarity when buying online; UK marketers lack social media knowledge; Businesses using Facebook could be banned from site; Rural enterprise needs support, says network; News alert service for farming businesses; Organic Advisory Service launched for farmers; Fairtrade sales show large increase; Supermarkets to get traffic light food warnings; FMB crackdown on rogue traders; Former Dragon offers expertise to North East businesses; Birmingham social enterprise to receive funding boost; Centre offers boost to wannabe Leeds entrepreneurs; Peter Jones launches enterprise academies
Mike's Media View: Without Fear Or Favour by Mike Truscott
Get the most out of your day by Rachael Ross
Tax & Vat News from Mark McLaughlin CTA(Fellow) ATT TEP
Truth or Half-Truth? by James Brunton
Corporate Late Payers Named and Shamed
Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray
Jill Bray Needs Your Help
Things You Say
Updated: 9th April 08; 10.04.08; 14.04.08
New regulations to clamp down on unfair trading; next MEETS course; free ink for your printer; TSI website changes and new features; April Vodafone offer; cartoons and illustrations from frazzled cat (09.04.08); business plan training (10.04.08); Trading Places awards from Barclays; The Enterprise Show (14.04.08); Bucks Fizz and Strawberry Cream Tea (18.04.08); Business StartUp Show; Internet World event; (23.04.08)



The BOSS is the publication for people who are their own BOSS.

It contains no non-member adverts: just wall-to-wall information written by bosses, for bosses. A list of current contents is given below.

If you would like to join the Home Business Alliance and receive The BOSS 10 times a year, please click on the link below:

Join The Home Business Alliance to get your regular copy of The BOSS 


In the March 2008 issue of The BOSS we had:

We are all guilty. They say. by John Quinton, Henley Business Partnership. A comparative look at alternative energy options.

The Power of Priorities by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

It's a dog's life by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk

Patnick's Page: Air Force One and Watergate; The American Presidential Candidates.

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (jillbray@gmail.com)

How the Data Protection Act can affect your business by Steve Sellwood of Selectabase

Simply Business insurance products and selection guidelines

Things You Say: The Loop Online press release; Skillfair case study; NBWN's Let's Talk Business dates and venues; the Eco button; free tickets to the BusinessStartUp exhibition.

Business News

Home-based businesses dream of a better work-life balance
BT launches the Year of the Home Worker
Government urged to stick by small business commitment
Business Link told to stop backing bad ideas
EU launches 'one stop shop' for SME support
10 million Brits would like to start their own business
Family firms drive UK economy
End of the road for the 125% mortgage
Firms failing to plan for risks
HMRC won't fine late filers
Competition Commission decision to help end supermarket monopolies
Government proposes copyright reform
Latest BRC figures indicate more price rises
UK food supply chain under review
Refugees in Birmingham to be given start-up support
Small businesses clueless about WEEE rules
Website attacks increasing, says report
UK orders broadband future review
East Midlands - eBay hub of the UK
eBay stops negative comments about buyers
Macs will become suceptible to attacks, says survey
Storm Worm prolific, says report
Web makes our job harder, say SMEs

March 2008 Editorial and Comment:

The BOSS to go electronic

It has never been the objective of the Home Business Alliance to make a handsome profit; rather, it's about people like me, who have been raised from childhood in the world of 'being their own boss', trying to help other people starting up and running a business from home - or even from premises. A lot of us have done, or do, both. But as with all survival exercises, one has to make enough money and achieve enough economies, to keep going.

Consequently, we have now come to a crossroads. I make no secret of the fact that I despise the internet and it comes as no surprise that a recent study by Cranfield suggests I might even be subscribing to a majority view! (Page 6 of The BOSS, March 2008)

Yet, as the study goes on to suggest, the internet is a tool everyone is using and use it one must, just to stay in the game. Speed of response, flexibility and minimal operating costs would be the major advantages for us.

On the other hand, non-internet related, it seems that over the past twelve months especially, we have been plagued by erratic postal services, spiralling postal charges, printing problems and supplier difficulties. Given the fact that the Home Business Alliance subscription has remained static for 12 years now, we can no longer absorb everyone else's inconsistencies and continue to provide a service - unless, I think, we go with the flow and 'go electronic'.

One could say that a subscription price-hike is long overdue but I would argue that ostensibly at least, we are competing with a lot of small business related material on the internet these days, which is of very high quality indeed - and which claims to be 'free' - although we do combine several sources of information to arrive at the mix you find in The BOSS just as we have a triple newsfeed on the Home Business Alliance website. The selection and assembly of this information is what takes the time and has a cost attached. Nor do I believe that the economic climate is right for a price hike; we aren't a utility with a captive client-base
My partner, Marian Owen, upon taking over The BOARD, led the way by changing it to an online publication, now called Business Opportunity Watch (BOW). That operation has proved to be very successful, despite my original scepticism. I have learned a lesson. (There are ample links to Business Opportunity Watch from the Home Business Alliance home page.)

Plus, you will also find a new business opportunity directory called Best Home Business Opportunities Directory 2008 which is immediately available in electronic format and contains the highest-marked business opportunities and franchises reviewed by Business Opportunity Watch over the last twelve months. At £14.95 for 56, A4 pages, it can save you a lot of shoe leather if you are looking for an extra earner or two.

The new electronic issue of The BOSS - eBOSS - will begin with the April 2008 edition. A Members' Area will be introduced to the Home Business Alliance website where members can log in to access an area which will be exclusive to members alone. Here, members will be able to access not only the latest but also previous editions of eBOSS.

It is ironic that for some time, the Home Business Alliance website - despite lacking the financial resources of Business Link, or telecoms/ sponsored sites, etc - has been at #1 on google.co.uk, yahoo.co.uk and #17 on google.com for the key phrase 'home business' and yet it lacks much of the sophistication which it should enjoy from this position. This we must now change, as we receive an increasing amount of interest from companies who wish to advertise on the site, thus bringing welcome revenue to help us go and find more benefits for you, the members
Log into www.homebusiness.org.uk/members.htm to obtain your unique access code for the new members-only area. (To be activated shortly.)

Xbridge/Simply Business Update

Apologies, firstly.

Our joint-launch with Xbridge in the last issue of The BOSS and on the Home Business Alliance website, was not what it should have been. Links were put into place but were both confusing and only partially activated. I sincerely hope that the situation has now been resolved so please let me explain.

As part of their special corporate membership introductory offer to the rest of the Home Business Alliance membership, Xbridge negotiated a very generous deal with ZuuMedia for 3 months of free internet storage based upon any of our members requesting an insurance quotation (via our home page, top, right-hand side, the text link Get Home Business Insurance Quotes). A little bonus worth, effectively, £23.97.

However, in recognition of the fact that this would effectively disadvantage many of those members who had just taken out/already had cover or those who didn’t even want to shop around, Xbridge have now - even more generously - negotiated an extension of their original offer with ZuuMedia to include ANY Home Business Alliance member who drops onto the 3 month trial offer landing page, linked to from the Home Business Alliance website home page again, just below the Xbridge home insurance quotation link referred to in the previous paragraph.

Given the fact that a prime objective for corporate membership of the Home Business Alliance is to prospect for and to generate fresh business, this latest extension of Xbridge’s original joining offer is quite remarkable for its generosity; we have seen literally scores of household-name companies and organisations pass our way and I can only think of Cable & Wireless, who created and ran a dedicated website for us 12 years ago, who came along with more up-front.

Consequently, for those of you who decide to take advantage of the Xbridge/ZuuMedia offer, please make an effort to get an insurance quotation. Let me emphasise that Xbridge are online brokers - they are not insurers themselves. In other words, they offer you home business/self-employed insurance policy comparisons. You may not be shopping around for a policy just at the moment. OK. So why not try to find out if the deal you DO have, can’t be bettered? It won’t cost anything. It could, on the other hand, save you a lot in the future.

Until the next time, go well.

Len Tondel


In the February 2008 issue of The BOSS we had: (31.01.08)

Goals for 2008 by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

We can provide Part II by John Quinton, Henley Business Partnership. A look at the age of retirement.

A Winter's Tail by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk The post-Christmas de-tox.

Patnick's Page: Been There, Done That, Got the T-shirt.

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (jillbray@gmail.com)

No Track Record? No Problem. by Colin Edwards (colines@gmail.com)

Travel News from Travel Link Co-ordinators

10 Ways To Beat the January Financial Blues

Reclaiming Exorbitant Bank Charges

Things You Say:

New Start Scotland launch free business magazine; The Pipeline card; website providing guidance on tax issues

Business News:

SMEs owed £18.6 bn in outstanding payments
Credit crunch causes business failures hike
Poll reveals bleak business outlook for 2008
Businesses taking balanced view, says survey
Ministers accused of fudging new business figures
Encourage over-50s into enterprise, ministers told
Engage with the 'real world' of business support, ministers told
Thousands left without tax calculations
Darling announces greater powers for FSA
Credit crunch has little effect on IT roles
Small business opportunities for Olympics contracts
Ofcom under pressure to react to broadband complaints
Disappointment at anti-hacker laws
Users told to tighten up online security
2007 bumper year for internet retail
Predictions on food prices inaccurate
Food for thought in Scotland
Yorkshire rural funding programme given go-ahead
Consortium presses government for action on town centres
Post Office closures threaten Scottish businesses
Devon firms defend cheque payments
East of England the place for entrepreneurs
Credit card scam hits Lincolnshire
Affiliate marketing on the rise

Current site features from The BOSS: (scroll down)

Top 10 Home Business Opportunities for 2007

The Soho Solo Project

Think carefully before paying voluntary NIC


In the Christmas 07/New Year 08 issue of The BOSS we had:

. . . we can provide by John Quinton, Henley Business Partnership. A look at the age of retirement.

Network Marketing is Dead in the UK by Mark Layder of Quality of Life Academy

It's a Disgrace by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk

Broken Down by Age and Sex by Colin Edwards (colines@gmail.com)

Managing Christmas by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

Patnick's Page - The Season of Good Cheer by Home Business Alliance Patron, Sir Irvine Patnick OBE

Leisure Time by Colin Edwards. Signposts that attract your curiosity.

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (jillbray@gmail.com)

Things You Say: Press Release - changes for paying in cheques; Skillfair - virtual meeting place for consultants and clients; guide to useful business information websites; website helps firms understand e-business; new events website plus free newsletter; new directory of UK accountants; public interest homeworking site; new free telecoms service for small businesses, home workers and charities; professional book covers and DVD inserts; business resource website providing a range of free advice on various small business issues. Stop Press! X-bridge and Simply Business join the Home Business Alliance as corporate members.

Business News:

UK a good place to start up
Business confidence slipping
Business confidence at two-year low
Demand for goods drops
More women opt for self-employment
Silver startups boost UK economy
More firms register for VAT
VAT registration delays
Small firms depend on cars
Congestion-cutting ideas put forward
Petrol prices fuel inflation rise
Two rate cuts on the cards
No sign of rising debt levels, say Barclays
Delay in Companies Act implementation
Fears of buy-to-let credit crisis
Home assessors hit by lack of work
Online traders to receive regulation reminders
Increased number of broadband connections
The importance of the internet to small firms
Online spending set to hit £40 billion
Shoppers continue to fear online fraud
Podcast advises on avoiding data leakage
Christmas shoppers turn to internet
Fake phone-tap email warning
Microsoft criticises small firms' websites
Firms lax over chosing website names
Campaign for a high street Christmas
Shoppers will splash out for Christmas
Scots to spend most on Christmas
Reputation matters in business
Diners want British food
Enterprise centre for north west women
Telephone still the most important networking tool in business
Firms plagues by late payment ignore legal rights
Red tape putting off second timers
Training and development scheme a success



In the November issue of The BOSS we had:

What somebody else wants by John Quinton, Henley Business Partnership

HM Revenue and Customs Online Services and Future Changes to Payments and Penalties by Steve Allen, VAT Solutions (UK) Ltd

Getting you family 'working' from home by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

Treat Or Cure - a modern dilemna by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk

Patnick's Page: We live in interesting times

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (jillbray@gmail.com)

So what type of entrepreneur are you? by Rachel Elnaugh

House Warmers from The Observer and Len Tondel, Home Business Alliance

Things You Say: email letterheads by http://www.emedia-solutions.co.uk; typing services from http://www.keystrokepro.com; People Per Hour website; online marketplace for publication content; find an accountant; New Start Scotland exhibition; planning the year ahead; City University Enterprise Fair and networking event; 2008 UK Enterprise Support Awards.

Business News:

Fear of regulation deters business ambitions
Start ups frustrated by ridiculous tax rules
HMRC liable for damages
Minister promises to tackle red tape
Government call to embrace red tape upsets small firms
BERR announces new plans to benefit business
Red Tape Rants website
Failing business numbers fall
Family ties support enterprise
Small firms seek postal alternatives
Post offices earmarked for closure announced
Sunday postal collections ended
Potteries are Britain's most enterprising area
Brighton is UK's entrepreneurial hotspot
Manchester named second best business city
Teenager scoops enterprise award
Sixth of start ups run by over-50s
Dreamers are future entrepreneurs
Freelance designers skills in demand
Inflation remains unchanged
Competition Commission to re-examine banks
Almost 600,000 new small business bank accounts
Businesses face lending squeeze
Entrepreneurs oblivious to who owes them what
Card fraud driven by overseas crime
UK has six of Europe's slowest-moving cities
HIPs blamed for fewer homes on market
Family business tax loophole to close
Firms put off e-commerce by complexity
Growth in free word processing packages
Data breaches continue to rise
PayPal and eBay phishing falls
Growth in online grocery shopping
Christmas shopping starts early
Brits research goods online before spending
Scoring for simpler comparision shopping
North east firms are survivors
Welsh firms are UK's most optimistic
Marketing toolkit for Welsh tourist enterprises
Postal scam warning
Comment: it's going to be a cold, hard winter for businesses



In the October issue of The BOSS we had:

What Brand is That? by David Dresen of Logoworks

Business Debt Recovery by Bradley Askew of http://www.justdebt.co.uk

Bankruptcy and Other Options by Jill Bray (jillbray@gmail.com)

Compete? Why? by John Quinton of the Henley Business Partnership

Is Cancer Your Fault? by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk

Patnick's Page: How One Thing Leads To Another

Screw Time by Colin Edwards (pdqmag@yahoo.com)

Small Business Banking - the basics

Things You Say: online tool for business basics; Horsesmouth e-mentoring website; small business views sought; networking workshops for small businesses; StartUps Awards small business finalists announced; new travel website; telesales commission-only service; sites for freelancers; Wm. Skinner and Son special offer to Home Business Alliance Members.

Business News:

Keep out of business support, ministers told
Report says microbusinesses doing well
Business confidence lowest since 2005
Late payment affects firms
Red tape to get worse
Floods review requires feedback
More postal strikes looming
Entrepreneurs say no to becoming employees
Networking needs face to face
Teaching old blogs new tricks
Data Protection Act changes ahead
Businesses ill-prepared for waste regulations
New HMRC podcasts go live
Small firms face loan problems
Shop around for best deals
Frustrated small firms turning to accountants
Record level of new enterprises in Scotland
Cashpoint issues dollars and euros for first time
Local business loyalty card launched
Buy-to-let market remains strong
Small firms support green options
Imperial weights and measures to remain legal
Internet access climbs to 61%
Day to day issues stump small firms
New figures for August e-threats
More than 300 cyber crime incidents per hour
Firms warned over online adverts effectiveness
Slow response equals lost business
Warning over YouTube hoax email
Tax scam warning
Small shops pushed out of city centres
Organic food sales still rising
Low cost food coming to an end
Food price increases a myth
Commission for small shops launched
Small shops discussed at conferences
Bradford best city for business
It's all in the name for firms


In the September issue of The BOSS we had:

Let There Be Spin by John Quinton of Henley Business Partnership

Motivation When Working From Home by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

It'll Only Take A Minute by James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk

Patnick's Page - The Rain Poured As Never Before

One Mark and Two Cars by Colin Edwards (pdqmag@yahoo.com)

Some Other Tips & Trends for Home Businesses by Len Tondel (in conjunction with Springwise)

Things You Say: North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; EFBWBO 12th Annual Awards; Free Supply London Winning New Business workshop; iTrade website; online networking community - Support Britain; co-buying network; assorted cheap flight comparator sites; free workshops for new trademark legislation; government business advice days; thinking of selling your business? ladies' networking group goes it alone; business IT guide; new 2007 Trade Print brochure; new, independent business opportunity review site; instant 'study/bed'.

Business News

Small businesses on the increase
Entrepreneurship beats 'going to the moon'
Little enterprise movement in last decade
Entrepreneurs fail to prepare pitches
Entrepreneurs expect to sell up
Study names four types of entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship can be taught, says study
Late payment top gripe for UK entrepreneurs
Taxman open flooding helpline
Flood help for south west firms
Regional Development Agencies pay out flood funds
Postal strikes cost small firms dear
Big banks let off the hook, FSB complains
Extra tax time for foot and mouth affected firms
Demands for compensation over VAT delays
Large rise in business fraud
Midlands the UK fraud centre
Introduction of faster payments delayed
Estate agents warned over new packs
Too many energy assessors for HIPs
London shops sign up for touch and pay
Investigation of real profits from a virtual world
Entrepreneur boosts local food
Tourism help for flood-hit firms
Boost for rural West Midlands businesses
North West entrepreneurs could pocket £60k in business services
Welsh speaking businesses rewarded
TV show does little for established firms
Small businesses shun e-commerce
Data production guidance published
Firms urged to donate old computers
Office printers cause health concerns
New online guide and tool for international traders
Free advice on trade mark legislation changes
Further crackdown on cowboy builders
Man detained for unlawful use of broadband connection


In the June/July (Summer) issue of The BOSS we had:

VAT News from http://www.TaxationWeb.co.uk

The Tale of the Golden Pen by Colin Edwards (pdqmag@yahoo.com)

Fair Weather Friend. James Brunton of http://www.healthexplored.co.uk looks at complementary and alternative medicine.

Filing and Organising Your Desk Part II by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

So, you want to write a best-seller Part IV - Publishers by Stanley Morgan

Musical Chairs by John Quinton of the Henley Business Partnership

Patnick's Page: Election Fever

Leisure Time: Why Are You Here Cafe

Debt & Some Safe Solutions by Jill Bray (jill@jillbray.freeserve.co.uk)

Taxman to Investigate eBay Deals, The Guardian

Things You Say: eCommerce Times; My First Million, downloadable documentaries; Young Rural Entrepreneur 2007;free virtual office offer from Regus; self-employed mortgages specialists http://www.selfcertificationmortgages.co.uk and http://www.fee-saver.co.uk ; Company Partners, business plan software reviews; Search engine guide website.

Business News

50% of Britons would like to be their own boss
Britain has the entrepreneurial 'buzz'
SMEs performing strongly in the first quarter
Tax rules relaxed for self-employed homeworkers
Ribble Valley MP named most business-friendly
Save time by interacting with the government online
Small businesses adopt blogging, RSS and search marketing
Cyber fraud costs e-commerce £580 million
BT has most broadband customers
One in ten websites contain malware, survey finds
Contactless credit card to launch
Consumers shop less but spend more
Insolvency consultation begins
Supermarkets sell more cheaply than other staores can buy
Concerns for buy-to-let market
Controversial home info packs delayed
Tax forms are too complex
Firms urged to give rubbish to charity
Imperial measurements set to stay
BCC's annual awards open for entries
Reality TV good for business
Moves to boost entrepreneurial culture
Local business groups link up



In the May 2007 issue of The BOSS, we had:

I'm in the garden by Neil Johnstone of Vivid Green Ltd

Benevolent Dictatorships by John Quinton of the Henley Business Partnership

That's for me by Hames Brunton of Health Explored

The Value of a Newsletter from Advertising.About.com

Filing and Organising Your Desk by Rachael Ross of Purely Peppermint

Footprints by Colin Edwards (pdqmag@yahoo.com)

So you want to write a best-seller Part 3: Literary agents - who needs them? by Stanley Morgan

Patnick's Page - Gizmos and the March of Time

Leisure Time - The Kodak V705 by Colin Edwards

Debt & Some Safe Solutions by Jill Bray (jill@jillbray.freeserve.co.uk)

Things You Say: Free to a good home, excerpts from The Guardian: http://tinyurl.com/yr7hdb; Barclays small business workshops; Profiteering bank charges, http://tinyurl.com/3xvnqp ; new Channel 4 series; free guide to telephone recorders http://www.phone-recorders.info ; Professional Selling Skills seminars; latest contents from eBOARD; Ceres Health bargains on health products tjdev@tiscali.co.uk.

Business News

Young Entrepreneurs can't find funding
Sole traders not planning for future
Half of small businesses have no plan
Inflation hike sparks interest rate fears
Warning over north/south start-up divide
UK entrepreneurship alive and well, say CBI
Older people fuel Scottish start-ups
Attempts to reduce red tape for small businesses
Consumer Credit Act tightens lending rules
Consultation on unfair terms in consumer contracts
Businesses urged to sign up to WEEE compliance schemes
Directory of waste and recycling facilities
Intellectual property review published
Fast-track patent filing system launched
New copyright enforcement powers granted
New payment security standards for credit cards
More protection for online banking
BT claims broadband helps business flexibility
End of the line for ISDN at home
Online advertising spend exceeds £2 billion
Online advertising spend to leapfrog radio
Britons boost eBay growth
Google launches UK online payment service
Shopping trends predicted for 2010
Retail sales boosted by sunny weather
Budget hotels expected to boom
Non-food retail prices fall
Sweet treats encouraging shoppers
Best pubs named in guide
Extra farmers' markets for north east
Internet fraud figures released
Sophos launches security podcast
VoIP worm warning
Bluetooth security danger
Five security patches issued by Microsoft
New guidelines for landlords
Revised construction regulations come into force
Concern over contractors' cards
Birmingham businesses relocating to countryside
Peak District farmers benefit from fresh support
North east start-up organisation reveals figures
New support initiative for London's entrepreneurs
Dragon's Den-style event for entrepreneurs
Welsh business event will go ahead




Week commencing the 9th of October saw the American small business community feting the ‘homepreneur’, with a series of features, case studies and classical wisdom doing the rounds to help everyone either get started or for those who were already under way, to get along a lot better.

What particularly caught our eye was a Top Ten of Home Business Opportunities for 2007, which we thought might interest you all and which went as follows:

1. Pet sitting. Americans apparently spend $34 billion on pampering their pets and the dog and cat population alone is estimated to be 135 million. Plenty of scope there, then!

2. E-Bay Aftermarket: Small business is big business. It's the reason why big corporations have entered the game with increased focus over the last few years. One new niche market created is from the E-Bay phenomena. Over 700,000 businesses use E-Bay as a marketplace to connect with consumers. Home-based entrepreneurs who provide services to this market will be well positioned in 2007.
Small business needs services to compete in the growing E-Bay market. Helping companies conduct market research, pricing strategies, shipping, and competitive analysis in the E-Bay market will be a niche business at home with very few commuting hours.

3. Home-based Debt Collection Agency: Debt has become a way of life for many Americans (as with the British.)

According to the Federal Reserve Board, consumer debt is at a record high of $2.03 trillion as of 2004 and continues to grow. All the outstanding, unsecured debt has become a multi-billion dollar business for the 6,000 plus debt collection agencies.

"In debt collection as well as starting any home based business, you will need to continue to educate yourself on laws pertaining to debt collection and small business, especially home based. Some laws are specific to home based rather than an office based business," says Michelle Dunn, author of "Starting a Collection Agency." Dunn tells those considering starting in the collection business to gain outside experience - even a part-time job - as a collector.

4. Children Arts Education: The growing mantra of companies today is innovate or die. In a global village with short product cycles and intense cost competition, ideas and creativity are the competitive advantage for American companies. While innovation is the driver of competitive advantage, the future lies in the next generation of workers; our kids.
Daniel Pink, author of "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" reveals the need for our next generation to be right brainers or highly creative. "These people - artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers - will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys," states Pink. Research firm Eduvenutres pegs the tutoring market alone at $4 billion dollars.

Home businesses creating products and services to the creative generation will reap big rewards in the years to come.
Companies like Texas-based KidzArt provides creativity-oriented educational programs to this market. Mother Shell Herman saw the early need in 1993, when schools were reducing art budgets and America lacked a national arts program. Today the company has over 58 franchisees and is growing yearly.

5. Garage Organizers: It would seem in the booming interior design and home makeover industry that every space of the house has been covered. The last frontier in the home business is the garage. A Harris Interactive study indicated almost 40% of Americans rate their garage as the messiest room in the house.

As Americans continue to consume more products than ever, the garage often becomes the cluttered space in the home. Enter the garage organizer who puts the clutter away and gives homeowners a peace of mind. The number of garage organizers is pegged at 500, double the rate of 2000, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Just as organizing closets was the next big thing in the 80's, the messy garage is the final space to clean up.

6. Background Checks: Hiring employees used to be a simple matter of a call to a few references. Today, employers find the task of finding a skilled workforce more challenging following security concerns and workplace violence. So companies are turning to background checking for pre-employment screening. Over 96% of HR professionals report that their companies do background checks of new hires, up from 66% in 1996 according to The Society for Human Resource Management Workplace Violence Survey.
Small businesses with limited resources are turning to background check companies to handle investigation, due diligence, and understand legal requirements. This business is ideal for startups who want to operate from the home and provide a vital service to companies.

7. Specialized Coaching: The coaching market has boomed in the recent years including specialized areas such as life, spiritual, corporate, relationship, and business coaching. As with any industry experiencing fast growth, new markets open up providing opportunities to those aware of the changing conditions.

Brad Sugars CEO of Action International, the franchise with over 900 business coaches sees the qualities of a good coach as, "a previous business background, a level of common sense of running a business and the people skills. Coaching is a person-to-person activity and the skill set of communicating people is essential."

According to Sugars, coaching is the hottest home business opportunity because of "the massive media recognition: business owners see it not as a luxury but a necessity, and there is more professionalism in the business."

8. E-Learning: With sky high fuel costs and limited employee time, many companies today have turned to web based learning for education and training of their workforce. IDC forecast the E-Learning market to reach $13 billion in 2007.
With advances in new web application tools such as podcasts and video blogs, development costs will decrease over time. Corporate training via the Internet is a must have for companies competing in a rapidly changing global environment. Meeting the needs in subject areas such as management skills and technology training, will place home-based entrepreneurs into the profit center of this industry.
Inc 500 company TrainingPro provides e-learning courses compliance to the loan and mortgage industry. Founded in 2000, the company has posted revenues of $5.8 million and 834% growth rate. Using the web provides the business with an information hungry market that wants to learn anyplace and anytime.

9. Specialized Outsourcing: Outsourcing is an integral part of life as a small business even before the term was widely spread. With limited resources and a focus on core competencies, companies serving the small business outsourcing market are in a solid position. While it seems big corporations are better suited to reach this market, small business owners trust and enjoy doing business with other small business owners.

Specializing in a business function such as sales and offering to serve to the business market is the best way to go for a small firm. New York-based Corporate Rain Inc. helps companies in the sales area. The company has grown from $10,000 a decade ago to millions today.

10. Scrap Booking: In today's easy to save and store digital age, consumers have been building a large photo library. One booming business capitalizing on this growth is the scrap booking industry. As one of the fastest growing areas of the craft industry, scrap booking accounts for over $3 billion a year in revenue.

Opportunities abound for the home-based entrepreneur as a professional scrapbook artist, workshop teacher, or a direct sales rep. Publisher Creating Keepsakes estimates the business is beyond fad and bigger than the golfing industry with 26.3 million American households scrap booking versus 23.7 million golfing households. This home business opportunity is well-positioned for the future.
Running a small business from the home will continue to be appealing to employees who crave independence, no commuting time, and flexibility. Turn your home into a business.

Our thanks to: sbinformation.guide@about.com

For further information about the UK's Top 50 home business opportunities, go to our page here.


PRESS RELEASE from the Soho Solo Project

A dynamic initiative to welcome new entrepreneurs to the Gers. "A better way to live; a better way to ork"

1) The Soho Solo Concept
2) The Soho Solo Project
3) The Soho Solo Profile
4) The Project in the Gers
5) Interreg IIIB

1) The Soho Solo Concept

Increasing numbers of Europeans are choosing to move to the countryside and to work there. They are opting for a better quality of life and greater independence. They often use the latest technology allowing them to work partially home.

Soho means Small Office Home Office, and refers mainly to independent professionals who work from a home based setting.

2) The SOHO SOLO Project

The project is part of the INTERREG III program (co-financed by the European Commission) and is aimed at people who are thinking of starting up a Soho Solo business in one of the Atlantic rural regions.

The regions concerned are the Gers (France) Bahia Cadiz and Canary Islands (Spain) Beira Interior (Portugal) and Cork (Ireland).

The project is coordinated by the Gers Chambers of Commerce who also evaluate the work
undertaken by the partners.

The partners in the project are all Business Innovation Centres (BICs) and can provide Soho Solos with:

Access to expert advice
Technical support and reference tools
A forum to network with peers and the local marketplace

These services are mainly provided free of charge by the BICs. They also help Soho Solos set up home businesses once they have decided to relocate.

The BICs can put Soho Solos in contact with public & private organisations to help them and their families start a new lifestyle.

3) The Soho Solo Profile

For the purposes of the project, a Soho Solo is “a person who has migrated to a rural region bringing with them their own income generating activity and works at least partially from home”

Most are independent professionals or telecommuters who work for example in the following sectors:

Marketing & Communication
Translation & Interpreting
Information & Communication Technology, Web Design
Consultancy (Management & Financial)
Textile, Art & Craft
Sales & Business Development
Legal Profession
Journalism & Publishing

4) The Project in the Gers

The host partner in France is the CEEI (Centre Européen d’Entreprises et d’Innovation) Gers
Gascogne, based at Auch (32).

The project is aimed at individuals who are considering relocating and starting a Soho Solo Business in the Gers.

The CEEI provides a Welcome Package and can assist Soho Solos to network with local businesses.

Services available to Soho Solo workers:

Access to the Soho/Solo resource centre at Auch (32)
Facilities (free of charge): Computers, Broadband Internet, and Scanner
Fax, photocopying (small charge)
Opportunity to rent low-cost offices on a medium term basis
Free inclusion in the Soho/Solo Online Directory www.ceei-gers.org
A Welcome Guide (French/English) & HelpDesk
Soho/Solo Club 32 – Professional & Social Events

For more information about the project in the Gers please contact
Hélène Izidi (Tel 00 33 5 62 60 68 84 Email:hizidi@ceei-gers.org)

5) Interreg IIIB

The Soho/Solo project is an EU project funded by the Interreg IIIB Atlantic Programme.

The Interreg III B ‘Atlantic Area ‘ Programme concerns trans-national co-operation in regional development, its principal objective is to enhance socio-economic cohesion and to reinforce sustainable development initiatives within the Atlantic Regions of Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal and the Canaries.

The Soho Solo project catalyses the objectives of the Atlantic Area Interreg III B projects as its aims are to:

Facilitate the arrival of new individual entrepreneurs

Qualify the offer of rural areas in terms of services and the environment in order to prepare a course of action to canvass these new active populations

Define and implement service platforms which satisfy the specific needs to accommodate these new populations

Promote and disseminate these efficient work practises throughout the entire rural territory of the Atlantic Area

Set up a Soho Solo organisation to canvass Soho Solo workers in Northern Europe



from TaxationWeb.co.uk by Peter Arrowsmith, FCA

Class 3 NIC

Class 3 contributions have been in the news lately. For those who don’t know, current rules require specified amounts of earnings or NIC credits in 90% of the years in a persons working life in order to get a full rate state pension. The working life is currently therefore 44 years for men and 39 for women for those who make it to retirement age – less for those who die before then in which case the length of their working life may be of relevance to others.
The Pensions White Paper issued in May this year suggests that the 90% requirement will be reduced to 30 years from 2010. Points to consider

This therefore presents a dilemma for many people currently thinking of paying Class 3 voluntary contributions – including some who have been notified by HM Revenue and Customs of a ‘deficiency’. If payment is made, then come 2010 it may prove to have been unnecessary. So what to do right now?

First, we should not forget that the proposal does not affect anyone reaching state pensionable age before 6 April 2010.
For others, due to the NIRS2 computer debacle, Class 3 contributions for the years 1996/97 to 2001/02 inclusive need not be paid until 5 April 2009 in any event AND the ‘penalty rate’ will not be applied. For 2002/03 the normal time limit does not expire until 5 April 2009 but the penalty rate currently applies (as it does to 2003/04). The penalty rate simply means that you pay the amount current at the time of payment (ie, now £7.55 per week instead of the £6.85 and £6.95 per week that applied in 2002/03 and 2003/04 respectively). And the penalty rate will apply to 2004/05 for payments made on and after 6 April 2007 (the rate for 2007/08 will be announced in late November or early December).

My advice is certainly to wait until nearer April 2007, and probably beyond even at the expense of incurring the penalty rate. Each individual must decide whether they assume that the current government will stay in power and legislate as planned or whether they prefer to play safe and pay at slightly cheaper rates now for certainty and peace of mind.

Bereavement payments

All of that is fine as far as the state pension goes but married persons and civil partners will need to think also about bereavement benefits. The rest of my comments are framed in terms of a widow but broadly the same position applies to others. For the lump sum bereavement payment of £2,000 all that is needed is for the husband to have had 25 weeks of earnings, etc in any one tax year. Few will fail this test. But for widowed parents allowance (payable to those with children at the time of widowhood) or bereavement allowance (payable for up to one year to those aged 45 or over at the time of widowhood) the 90% of working life rule again applies (at least until 2010). So if there is a gap it may also cause a reduction in the payable rate of these two benefits. However, provided a decision in made in full knowledge of all these facts then my advice is still – don’t rush.

The next news may well be in the Queens Speech on 15 November when hopefully further pensions legislation will be announced and a Bill soon thereafter. P Arrowsmith, FCA

Disclaimer: The content of these articles is based on tax legislation in operation at the time of publication, which may subsequently have changed. Whilst every care has been taken in its production, neither the author nor TaxationWeb Ltd. can accept responsibility for any action undertaken or refrained from as a consequence of this material.

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